Dr. Angie Warner Joins the Ranks of Emeritus Faculty

Associate dean for academic affairs developed course curriculums and a new degree program over her 21-year tenure at Cummings School
A person with light colored short hair and a blue top sitting on a chair.
Professor Emeritus Angeline Warner. Photo: Jeff Poole, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine

New Professor Emeritus Angeline Warner, D.V.M., D.Sc., DACVIM (she/her), reflects on her joy of teaching students, starting the combined D.V.M./M.S. in Laboratory Animal Medicine program, and seeing Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University evolve into the institution it is today.

How did you decide to become a veterinarian?
I became interested in veterinary medicine at a time when it was primarily a male profession. Over the years, it’s been interesting to watch it grow from a male-dominated to a female-dominated profession. It’s a caregiving profession, and like others who go into it, I enjoy treating animals and their medical illnesses.

Before arriving at Cummings School, you earned your B.S. at Vassar College, D.V.M. at the University of Florida, and Ph.D. at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. 

What research were you involved with for your postdoctoral degree?
I was working with the respiratory physiology group at the Harvard School of Public Health, studying macrophages in the lungs of domestic animals and how they are different in different species. It was fun work and nice to be supported in a project that was species comparative among a group of individuals committed to studying respiratory physiology in humans. From there, I talked with the attending veterinarian who oversaw the laboratory animal program at Harvard School of Public Health and Harvard Medical School. He was looking for a veterinarian to join his group and be part of the care of the animals. I found it to be a fantastic opportunity. I didn’t have experience with laboratory animals; I learned on the job. One of the most satisfying aspects of veterinary medicine is to be part of both research and care for the animals and ensure that the research is ethical and appropriate.

How did you land at Cummings School, and what has kept you here for 21 years? 
While working for Harvard School of Public Health and Harvard Medical School, I taught a respiratory pathophysiology course at Tufts University. At that time, Tufts was not Cummings School yet. There was a job opening for an associate dean for academic affairs. I applied and was very fortunate to be hired by Dean Phil Kosch. What’s kept me here? The students. It is so satisfying to teach students, support them in their veterinary education, and help develop a curriculum that prepares them for careers in veterinary medicine. What’s been most gratifying for me has been to prepare and teach course materials that students find difficult and have them come back to me and say, “Wow, I can understand this complex topic now; you made a difference for me.” 

What have you enjoyed most as associate dean for academic affairs? 
A highlight was watching the school grow from an upstart, young school into a major academic veterinary institution and receive a naming gift to become the Cummings School. I enjoyed seeing the increase in faculty and students and the development of the teaching hospitals. Over the time I’ve been in that role, I’ve seen the school grow from a class of 80 students to 100 students to now over 130, and we may have 150 students in our incoming class. The hospitals have an excellent reputation in large and small animal medicine. 

Is there a legacy you hope to have imparted on the Cummings School community?
I put together a combined degree program for students to earn both their D.V.M. and M.S. in Laboratory Animal Medicine. That program started in 2004 and has been going ever since as a combined degree program. It’s become successful, and it looks like it will continue to be a successful program long after my departure. I feel it’s a legacy, and I’m proud of it. We now have alumni of that program who are veterinarians with specialty boards in laboratory animal medicine and directors of research programs at academic and biomedical research institutions. I am very proud of the students who completed the program and went on to successful laboratory medicine careers. 

And you always continued to teach the respiratory pathophysiology course throughout your time at Cummings School?
I have been teaching that one course forever! I started in the 1990s and have been teaching it ever since. Teaching has been a big part of my contribution to the school over the years.

How did you feel about receiving the Educator Award from the Massachusetts Society for Medical Research in 2010? 
It was a great honor to receive that award and be recognized for the teaching contribution that I’ve made to the D.V.M. program and the Laboratory Animal Medicine program at Cummings School. 

Are there favorite moments from your time at Cummings School that especially resonate with you? 
Some of my favorite memories are seeing students who came to Tufts and struggled academically in the first year. Yet, I’ve seen them become confident learners and excel in the curriculum. Watching them march across the stage at graduation and receive their D.V.M. diploma is a great moment.

What does earning the professor emeritus title mean to you?
It’s a recognition and honoring of my service and commitment to the school. It also allows me to continue connecting to Cummings School as a retiree and keeping informed about what’s going on with the school. Remaining connected to Cummings School is a big piece for me, as is connecting with others who have been honored. Periodically, Cummings will gather them all up. It’s wonderful to see them all again at gatherings that involve emeriti faculty, and I’m excited to be included in that group.

What will you miss most about Cummings School?
The students. It’s been an honor and a great joy to teach our students. The good news is that I can watch their careers progress as they become well-known veterinarians in their communities.

What’s the next chapter for you after Tufts? 
My husband and I enjoy traveling, hiking, and kayaking. We’re planning many activities. I will try to remain as connected as I can to Cummings School and make any contributions that are asked of me.